An Illinois state representative proposed a bill that would require residents who choose not to be vaccinated to pay for COVID-19 health care expenses.
State Representative Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, who serves the 57th house district, proposed house bill 4259 in the Illinois General Assembly.
Carroll’s bill would amend the Illinois Insurance Code and a person who is eligible to be vaccinated, but chooses not to, “shall for pay for health care expenses out-of-pocket if the person becomes hospitalized because of COVID-19 symptoms,” his bill says.
If his bill is passed, the amendment would apply to accident and health insurance policies amended, delivered, issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2023.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Carroll said, “I think it’s time that we say, ‘You choose not to get vaccinated, then you’re also going to assume the risk that if you do catch COVID, and you get sick, the responsibility is on you.'”
“If someone obviously can’t have a vaccine for health reasons, that’s a completely different conversation. But if you’re an able-bodied person able to get this vaccine and you’re choosing not to, then you’re putting us all at risk, and we’re seeing this as the variants continue to spread,” Carroll said.
The bill is expected to face legal challenges. Carroll said some state representatives are in support of the bill, the Sun-Times reported.
“We’ve tried everything we can do to educate the public on the vaccine. Again, the vaccine is working, and people are, for whatever reason, choosing not to get it. Now it’s to a point where… it shouldn’t be the responsibility of those of us that are.”